Youthful Lovers Foil Parents and Cat-Like Sleuths

William H. McGraw and Clara Belle Rorick United as One.

First-Sight Romance is Too Intense to Prevent.

Now Old Saying is “Love and Detectives,” Instead of “Love and Locksmiths.”

William H. McGraw, youngest son of the late Homer McGraw, of 1209 Cass avenue, has a new version of that threadbare old saying about “love and locksmiths.”

He has substituted “private detectives” for locksmiths, and he and Dan Cupid and Mrs. William H. McGraw, who was Miss Clara Belle Rorick until Tuesday afternoon, are still laughing at the sleuths whose false whiskers and stealthy tread profited them not at all.  It was too big a job that the private detectives had cut out for them, that’s all there is to it.

Love at First Sight.

Away last winter, during the Obelisk dance at the Knights of Columbus hall, young Mr. McGraw—he is not yet 21—met Miss Clara Belle Rorick, just 19, and to quote the bridegroom, it was a case of love at first sight.

Right there, with the dreamy music in their ears and the polished flor sliding away under the lightly tripping feet of youth, the futures of Mr. McGraw and Miss Rorick were settled.

But he was only 20 and she was only 19, and his relatives would not listen to any talk about a wedding.  They sent him to the south, to mature and forget; if not to forget, at least to grow a little older.

Wedding Bells Only Music.

But he came back, a week ago, and met Miss Rorick again: again did he decide that the only reason music in the world was wedding bells. His relatives saw the symptoms, too, and when he left home, Monday, they hired private detectives and ordered them to find William H. McGraw, suggesting that the marriage license bureau would be an awfully good place to look.

But young McGray [sic] pierced the lines of the detective Tuesday morning.  He obtained his license to wed, and telephoned to his folks to say that the wedding would be performed before they or their private detectives would see anything of him.

And he made good on the promise.  Out in Redford, Rev. Frank C. Walters tied the knot and the young couple returned to the handsome home of the bridegroom’s mother for the parental blessing.

Reporters Shut Out.

Nobody would see or talk to reports at the McGraw home Tuesday afternoon.  But in the evening a most alarmingly gruff voice answered the telephone: a very business-like voice indeed.

“About William H. McGraw’s elopement?” said the voice, not at all conciliatory.  “Well, what do you want to know about it?”

Just then a merry little voice, which must have emanated from very close beside the gruff, business-like voice, sent a decidedly happy little laugh over the wire.  And then—

“Well,” said the voice that had been gruff and business-like, “I’m the culprit, and you might as well have a good story while you’re about it.  Yes, we’re married, and everything is lovely.  Blessings? Oh, yes, sure, blessings.  Yes, we are mother’s home, temporarily, until we make our plans for the future.  And the bride’s mother, Mrs. W.M. Rorick, lives on Stimson place.”

That was all, except that even the telephone operator caught the odd thrill on the wire, and “cut in.”

For all the world—

And it’s private detectives, now, instead of locksmiths.

Source:  Detroit Free Press, November 10, 1915.

Note:  Claribel Rorick’s name is misspelled throughout this article.  She and William Harold McGraw had a son, William Homer McGraw, in 1916, but their marriage soon ended.  She remarried to Lucien W. Mueller in 1919, and he seems to have adopted her young son, Billy, who sadly died in 1931.

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